Antimicrobial peptides comprise a diverse class of molecules used in host defense by plants, insects, and animals. In this study we have isolated a novel antimicrobial peptide from the skin of the bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana. This 20 amino acid peptide, which we have termed Ranalexin, has the amino acid sequence: NH2-Phe-Leu-Gly-Gly-Leu-Ile-Lys-Ile-Val-Pro-Ala-Met-Ile-Cys- Ala-Val-Thr-Lys-Lys-Cys-COOH, and it contains a single intramolecular disulfide bond which forms a heptapeptide ring within the molecule. Structurally, Ranalexin resembles the bacterial antibiotic, polymyxin, which contains a similar heptapeptide ring. We have also cloned the cDNA for Ranalexin from a metamorphic R. catesbeiana tadpole cDNA library. Based on the cDNA sequence, it appears that Ranalexin is initially synthesized as a propeptide with a putative signal sequence and an acidic amino acid-rich region at its amino-terminal end. Interestingly, the putative signal sequence of the Ranalexin cDNA is strikingly similar to the signal sequence of opioid peptide precursors isolated from the skin of the South American frogs Phyllomedusa sauvagei and Phyllomedusa bicolor. Northern blot analysis and in situ hybridization experiments demonstrated that Ranalexin mRNA is first expressed in R. catesbeiana skin at metamorphosis and continues to be expressed into adulthood.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Biological Chemistry|
|State||Published - 1994|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology